Brave Ukrainian boy who fled Russian invasion is finally reunited with heroic father – World News

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Father Ruslan Gladkiy stayed in Ukraine to help his country during the war, while his wife, son and daughter boarded a train to get to safety. The family is now reunited

Ruslan Gladkiy and his son Hordiy

The young Ukrainian boy whose emotional goodbye to his hero father became one of the iconic images of the country’s suffering under the Russian invasion has finally been reunited with him after returning home.

Father Ruslan Gladkiy, 35, feared he would never see his wife, son and daughter again when he took them to safety in February.

Driver Ruslan, who stayed behind to help his country fight against the rampaging Moscow troops, was photographed kissing nine-year-old Hordiy goodbye at Lviv station and telling him: “Be brave for your mother.”

The photo was featured on the front page of the Daily Mirror and beamed around the world.







Ruslan kisses his son as his family boards a train to safety

Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

Young Hordiy was certainly brave – and now, three months later, he is finally able to hug his father again when the family returned to be with Ruslan, despite the ongoing war.

Ruslan told the Mirror: “I was so happy to see my family again. We haven’t seen each other for three months. Of course we could make video calls and phone calls, but to see and hold my wife and children again was fantastic. We love our country and want to live here in happiness and peace.”

As soon as the Russian army invaded, Ruslan decided he had to get his family out of the country.

He took them to the Lviv train station and, despite the chaotic scene, managed to get tickets to Budapest for wife Halyna, 37, Hordiy, and four-year-old daughter Emilia. They eventually ended up in Italy, where they stayed with relatives. But now they have returned despite the possible dangers.







The family is now reunited

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Ruslan Gladky)







Ruslan was afraid he would not see his children and wife again, but now they are together again

Image:

Ruslan Gladky)

They are among hundreds of families who have made the brave decision to come home to rejoin husbands and fathers forced to remain under the ban on men between the ages of 18 and 60 who leave Ukraine as the war continues.

It means that there is an influx of people on trains to the capital Kiev and all cities in the west of the country.

I can remember standing outside the Lviv train station on Sunday, February 27, watching the poignant scenes as hundreds of families said goodbye.

But while three months ago there were huge three-day queues to get out, there are now queues at many border crossings to get into war-torn Ukraine.







The boy who left Lviv station while his father stayed in Ukraine

Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

Ruslan said: “We are not safe here yet. Sometimes missiles still fly into our area.

“More and more of our friends and acquaintances are going to the front.

“And if the enemy overcomes our defenses, my wife and children will be forced to flee, and I will stay again. It’s scary going through it again. But we wanted to be together.”

In Slovakia, Moldova, Hungary and Poland there are Ukrainians who desperately want to return.

In the Polish farming village of Medyka, Ukrainians have waited hours to get back across the border.







A soldier waits with flowers in the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine

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Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)







Ukrainian soldiers were reunited with their families

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Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

One of them, Anna Kobernyk, a graduate of Kiev University, said: “We have been waiting here all night and we are all very tired.”

She has a master’s degree in International Relations and in recent months the war has given her a real-life lesson in the subject.

She added: “It’s my practical lesson. It’s sad, of course, that the 21st century isn’t really all that great. That the UN and many, many others, all can do nothing.”







A soldier hugs his returning partner at Kharkiv . station

Image:

Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

Ruslan said that if the situation remains relatively calm in his region, he will try to watch his national team take on Scotland in the World Cup play-off next week, along with Hordiy and family.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has admitted that Russian despot Vladimir Putin is making progress in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

The prime minister said: “I am afraid that Putin, at great cost to himself and to the Russian military, will continue to chew through soil in Donbas. He continues to make gradual, slow, but I am afraid tangible progress, which is why it is imperative that we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily.” Ukraine needs more military support, including multiple missile systems, he added.

More than 30 leading legal scholars and genocide experts have signed a report accusing the Russian state of violating several articles of the United Nations Genocide Convention.







Emotional reunions have taken place at the station

Image:

Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

The report warns that there is a serious and imminent threat of genocide in Ukraine. It listed evidence including examples of mass murders of civilians, forced deportations and dehumanizing language used by top Russian officials to describe Ukrainians, including words like “beastly”, “subordinate” and “dirty”.

The file of the American think tank New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy also cites Putin’s statements that he believes Ukraine has no right to exist as an independent state.

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